Genius, Weird Al Yankovic
That is a word that many music entertainers use to describe “Weird Al” Yankovic.
All of the songs that Weird Al parodies he gets approval for. In fact after the Coolio controversy about his “Amish Paradise” music video he now makes sure he speaks with the music entertainer directly before he proceeds in the production of any new venture.
Weird Al also parodies music styles, ie, pastiche, in addition to pop music hits.
In another cult classic which is a rare original from Weird Al, he pokes fun at the pop music group Devo and their brand of music which is New Wave.
Shortly after the song was released, Weird Al received a letter from the lead singer of Devo, Mark Mothersbaugh, congratulating him on writing “the perfect Devo song”. He has also said that the song is “beautiful … and I hate him for it, basically.”
An apocryphal story has been recounted where the lead singer of the Talking Heads, David Byrne, said after viewing the video for “Dare To Be Stupid” that Weird Al is a “genius”!
Dare To Be Stupid is the title song of the same album, and in my personal opinion his best album ever.
[Warning: The following videos are without profane lyrics or any form of nudity. You may finally realize that you can enjoy "contemporary" or "pop" music without all the vileness that emanates from the black hole that is MTV.]
“The Saga Begins” is a parody of “American Pie” by Don McLean.
The music video recounts the plot of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, from Obi-Wan Kenobi’s point of view.
Don McLean not only approved the song but also has said since that his children have played it so much that he has a tendency to accidentally sing Yankovic’s lyrics when performing “American Pie” in concert.
According to Yankovic’s official website, George Lucas’s reaction to first hearing the song was a “big, big smile.” This is the second Star Wars song of Weird Al, which the first song was Yoda.
And now, “The Saga Begins”:
“One More Minute” is another original from Weird Al and is done in the style of doo-wop and Elvis Presley.
This is another song from his “Dare To Be Stupid” album that I enjoyed when I was little.
Although the song sounds like a typical romantic slow-dance song, the topic is about breaking up with his girlfriend. He sings how he would rather endure the pain of various violent or painful acts done to himself than spend “one more minute with you”.
Several jokes in the music video are inspired by a scene in the movie Top Secret!, a movie Yankovic cites as one of his favorites.
At one point in the video, Al takes out a photograph of a woman (assumedly an ex-girlfriend of his) and tears it in half; this woman was apparently the inspiration for the song.
[CMinor pointed out to me some "sexual innuendo" in the video so I am giving this warning that this video is rated PG-17 (between an R and a PG-13 rating). Like many others, I sometimes don't pay attention to the lyrics, or if I have, forgotten how insidious they could be.]
And that concludes our Weird Al Weekend. I don’t think it would be prudent to post anymore Weird Al video’s for a little while.
Have a great Labor Day everyone!
(Hat Tip: Wikipedia-partially)